I Love You, Man comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today, and it's a light-hearted if quickly forgettable movie that squarely defines "bromance," which has quickly become one of the marketing industry's favorite terms. It's a word that's come to describe camaraderie between men on screen when "friends" just won't cut it. We're not talking about Brokeback Mountain levels of love between males here, but something just south of it.
Unfortunately, I Love You, Man doesn't really nail that moment until the very end of the film. By then, the only thing stuck in your head is Paul Rudd's "Slappin' de bass" line, and the bond between Rudd and Jason Siegel seems more like beer buddies than anything. But what about movies that nail between man, for better or worse? Here's seven examples of movies that are very pro-bro.
Martin Brest's 1998 bounty hunter tracking down his man movie his one of the best bromances ever captured on film: Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro. Paramount, the first studio developing this project, wanted to team De Niro with Cher to provide some "sexual overtones". Thankfully, Paramount bowed out and Universal stepped in. Despite the fact that Grodin is in handcuffs for most of this movie, it's De Niro's Jack Walsh in emotionally shut-down chains who changes dynamically. The intimate ending scene between the two is worth all the hammy acting by the supporting cast.
Clint Eastwood's relationship with Morgan Freeman's character throughout the duration of the movie only scratches the surface. They used to be partners in the past, but you only heard about their exploits a few times when they reminisce about them. You never get to see the bond that forged between the two of them, but it was strong enough to make Eastwood's William Penny character go back to drinking and unloose a pretty mean killing streak. When your feeling for another man are strong enough to pull the trigger after you've turned your back on a lifetime of killing, that's bromance.
Can we start using the term "brove"? Love between bros = brove. It's just as ridiculous as "bromance," and probably fits a bit better. There was definitely brove going on between Jon Favreau's Mikey and Vince Vaughn's Trent, and they even had satellite bromances going on with Ron Livingston, Patrick Van Horn, and Alex Désert. But it's the relationship between Trent and Mikey that takes center stage, even though the two of them are looking for love in Los Angeles with other women. When a bro cares enough to take you to Vegas and nursemaid while scoring in the back of a cocktail waitress' trailer, that's the real stuff.
Forget for a moment that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are the same person in Fight Club. And if that's a spoiler for you, it's time to get over it because the statute of limitations ran out on that movie several years ago. Norton doesn't find that fact out until near the end of the flick, and throughout the other 3/4 of the film he's too busy idolizing and worshiping at the altar of Tyler Durden. He voyeuristically listens to Tyler have sex, wants his carefree lifestyle, and spends his time trying to be like him. Sure, that's ironic given what we know as an audience, but it's dead-on brolust for Norton.
Boogie NightsAlthough poor Philip Seymour Hoffman's Scotty character fails to land Mark Wahlberg's Eddie Adams, the real bromance in this movie is between Wahlberg and John C. Reilly's Reed. It's total fantasy fulfillment for most teenagers: porn movies, kung-fu detective work (in said porn movies), and their own (miserably failed) rock musician career. They spend all of their time together, practicing dives off the diving board and discussing Star Wars, while trying to catch herpes in low-budget sex flicks. Literally, they put bros before hos.
Lethal Weapon 2
Buddy cop movies usually have a corner-turning moment where the two main leads aren't just working together, and they're instead an important part of each other's lives. Riggs and Murtaugh went above and beyond cops who would take a bullet for each other, and over the course of four movies you'll witness quite a bromance. One that extends all the way to saving each other's lives multiple times. Their really solidified in Lethal Weapon 2 when Danny Glover's Murtaugh sitting on a toilet wired with a bomb, while Mel Gibson's Riggs holds him and vows to stay by his side. Explosively touching.
Han Solo & Luke Skywalker
Say what you will about Luke having the hots for his own sister, it was really all about Han and Luke competing for each other's attention throughout three movies. Luke is despondent when Han leaves before the assault on the Death Star, and he's elated when he returns to help him out. Later they fight back to back on Jabba's Skiff over the Dune Sea, and Han loves Luke enough to face the odds of certain death and go out into a cold night on Hoth to save his life. Not only does he find him, but he guts a Tauntaun to keep him alive. It doesn't get much more bromantic than that.